RECAP: @DidiG18 and @TheJudge44 go yard in #NYYSpring opener. https://t.co/mJViNjwRnD pic.twitter.com/fDcKabENjG
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) February 24, 2017
In the New York Yankees first spring training game, the Bombers lifted three homers and didn’t allow a single earned run in the win over the Phillies.
- Philadelphia Phillies: 4 (0-1)
- New York Yankees: 9 (1-0)
- Grapefruit League, FINAL
- George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, FL
Bryan Mitchell, one of the candidates for the final two rotation spots, got the starting nod looking to build off a stellar spring in 2016 (0.57 ERA). He did just that by dealing two hitless innings while striking out one in his debut.
Reliever Tyler Clippard relieved him in the third, but continued a relatively satisfying outing for Yankees’ pitchers.
Clippard, Tommy Layne, Luis Cessa, Jordan Montgomery and Giovanny Gallegos combined for seven innings of four-run ball (two earned) and struck out four while giving up just five hits.
Offensively, the Bronx Bombers came to play.
Shortstop Didi Gregorius got the party started when he launched the first pitch he saw over the wall in right in the first. Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Aaron Judge sent George M. Steinbrenner Field into a frenzy by cranking one off the top of the scoreboard in left center. Matt Holliday also went 2-for-2 with two singles, including a rocket off the right-center field wall in the fourth.
The Baby Bombers also had a great afternoon, as catcher Kyle Higashioka also homered, Miguel Andujar went 2-for-2 with a triple and a double and Clint Frazier got in on the parade by ripping a two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth.
Despite Gallegos surrendering two homers in the ninth, he closed out the first spring training victory for New York.
#StartSpreadingTheNews, the #Yankees win their #NYYSpring opener!
FINAL: Yankees 9, Phillies 4. pic.twitter.com/6cpejyZeAp
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) February 24, 2017
Right Where He Left Off
Last season, Gregorius became the just the third shortstop Yankees history to hit at least 20 HR and bat over .275. He joined the exclusive list of Tom Tresh (1962) and Derek Jeter (1999, 2001 and 2004).
He wasted no time proving that was fluke here in 2017.
On the first pitch he saw from Phillies’ starter Alec Asher in the bottom of the first, he drove it deep to right center and by the time it landed, it was way gone for the first home run of the Yankees’ season.
Hit home run total last season was a career-high for Didi, who will represent the Netherland in this year’s World Baseball Classic.
Still In Orbit…
From day one, Judge’s power seduced not only the Yankees, but whoever watched him take batting practice.
Yes, he will strike out (50 percent in 2016), but in the bottom of the fifth inning, he demonstrated the Incredible Hulk-like power he is capable of producing.
The right-handed slugger mashed the first pitch he saw from Philadelphia’s southpaw Elniery Garcia and sent the entire stadium into complete shock following the moon shot.
The pitch almost cleared the scoreboard in left-center, as it rocketed off the top — easily over 450 feet from home plate.
Aaron Judge nearly *cleared* the scoreboard in left-center field with his 5th-inning bomb… ?#YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/s4GHNg5sBg
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) February 24, 2017
In the bottom of the seventh, an inning in which Yankees’ pitchers entered with a perfect game intact, two infielders couldn’t finish defensive plays en route to two unearned runs crossing the plate for the Phillies.
The first error came on the first play of the frame, when Scott Kingery tapped a weak grounder to shortstop, Gleyber Torres.
Torres fielding it cleanly, but watched his throw tail towards the right field side of first base and took Ji-Man Choi off the bag.
Four plays later, Jordan Montgomery got Brock Stassi to ground in what appeared to be a double play, but Choi couldn’t handle an accurate toss from Torres as it bounced off his glove. Instead of two outs, Stassi was awarded second as Cameron Perkin scored the second run of the game for Philadelphia.
The Bombers will play the same Phillies team but this time, they’ll be on the road at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. Adam Warren will get the starting nod in his first outing of the spring.
After returning to the Yankees last July in as a piece of the return for Aroldis Chapman, Warren posted a 4-2 record with a 3.26 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched out of the bullpen.
With two rotation spots left vacant for the time being, Warren will compete with Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Luis Severino and Mitchell for a major league roster spot as a starting pitcher.
First pitch will come your way at 1:05 pm on Comcast SportsNet or MLB.TV. You could also tune into ESNY for all in-game trending videos and the postgame recap.